Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

The New Testament was originally written in Greek.  The current English translations that we use are translations of our best understanding of what the original Greek was.  In earlier centuries, the Church often used a translation of a translation: a translation of Saint Jerome’s Latin translation in the Vulgate of what (for the New Testament) the original Greek said.

Often, when we consider alternate English translations of the original Greek, it can add depth, or even another dimension, to our understanding of a passage.  It is that way with today’s Gospel.

After sharing a parable of the Kingdom of heaven in the end times as a sorting of the good fish from the bad, Jesus asks the disciples if they understand these things.  Then, he says, ““Then every scribe who has been instructed in the Kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings from his storeroom both the new and the old.”

The word “instructed” can also be translated as “trained.”  What does it mean to be trained for the Kingdom of heaven as opposed to merely instructed in it?  Does not a training imply a readiness to participate in some way…as opposed to merely learning about it?

Another translation is “every scribe who has become a disciple for the kingdom of heaven…”  Is this not an even higher level of participation?

This is a participation in God’s holiness.  How are we doing this ourselves?  This participation requires continual attention to take in Jesus’ teaching and make it fruitful in our own lives.  And we know that Jesus’ teaching is only relevant because of who Jesus is.  And because of who Jesus is, we must go to Jesus to receive not just his teaching, but the Lord himself into our lives. 

Are we ready to do that?  Do we want to do that?  Not as a half-hearted hobby, but as something that gives our entire life purpose, meaning, and orientation.  As something we want with our entire being.

When we do this…when we really want to do this…we become more like the one that we seek.  We become more like Jesus himself…God the Son who became human that we might become divine.

What does that mean to me?  Does it not change everything?